As someone who makes their living off of a website, I’m sure slow to adapt to technology. But I finally came around and tried Uber and I have to say that I love it. It’s easy, so far reliable and way cheaper than taxi cabs in Chicago.
But I had a recent ride that made me think that it could be so much better. My wife and I had a dinner at Gilt Bar downtown (that place is great too, one of the best meals I’ve ever had). There was a line of taxis waiting out front and we felt a little guilty using our phone to get an Uber and one taxi driver was staring at us as we headed to our ride as if he couldn’t believe it.
We were heading to our home in Lakeview and the first sign of trouble was when the driver didn’t know how to get to the highway. Oooooookaaaay we thought. He then plugged our address in to his phone, but couldn’t comprehend when we wanted him to go a different way when there was trouble turning on to Ogden.
Eventually he went the way we told him to and while he drove a tad slow for our taste, we got home.
Our babysitter is on Uber so I asked the driver if he could stay in front of our place while we paid her and then take her home. She came outside with me, but unlike a taxi, she couldn’t just hop on in. We had to make a request for a ride and the driver had to answer the request. Unfortunately that request never made it to his phone even though he was five feet from me when I clicked the app. Eventually he was frustrated and left and we had to try someone else (our sitter eventually called her friend for a ride instead). The driver also didn’t know if I could order the ride on my phone so I could pay for it, but not go on the ride itself.
So the site definitely has some kinks to work out. I don’t know how they can screen the drivers better for knowledge of the City and quite honestly, as long as they’ve passed a background check and get good ratings, who cares because the GPS systems take care of most direction issues anyway.
And by the way, the cost was just over $15 which is less than half of what it would have been on a busy night with a taxi.
So I’m an Uber convert and given how well they are doing, I’m just going to hope they work out some of the kinks.
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